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Full text of "The Spark: theoretical organ of Marxist Workers League. Nov. 1938 Vol. I #7"

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THE =ee 

H. v. 

"From a Spark shall arise a Flame" 


VOL 1 NO. 7 NOVEMBER 1938 15c 


Labor Donated 


Party and the Proletariat — 
Answer to Anti-Bolshevik Critics 


Trade Unions and Proletarian Power 





3) THE PARTY AND THE PROLETARIAT- . Ml>no , P . ™ es 14- 93 
p mmrm TO ANTI-BOLSHEVIK CRITICS -Mienov pages 14- ^3 

4) UNEMPLOYED RESOLUTION - Steering Committee -pages 25- 31 

5) TRADE UNIONS AND PROLETARIAN POWER , ■> -Sterling-pages ,/32-34 





so ?£f?yi-AK 

* \ 


t The relation of the sharecroppers to the American revolution necessi- 
tates a complete understanding of the farm question. To miscomprehend 
the position of agriculture in the United States means first, to have an 
erroneous view of the agrarian tasks the coming revolution will have to 
face. Secondly, flowing from that false conception will necessarily 
follow the establishment of an incorrect relationship between the pro- 
letariat and .the farmers. 

The pattern of Southern tenancy was set at the end of the Civil War. 
The war, which represented the victory of industrial capital over the 
slave _ economy, -resulted in a gradual decline of agriculture with only 
occasional spurts to mar the general picture. Prom the period of about 
I J°^i the farmers as a whole did not share in the gains arising 
out of the upward movement of industrial America. After 1896, however, 
due to the rise in prices, the farmersdid get a definite portion of the 
wealth, although their mortgages and indebtedness increased. Of course, 
this rise benefited the upper layers of the farmers only. This is pro- 
ven by the fact that farm tenancy which was 85.6^ in 1880 rose to 35,3$ 
in 1900 and then rose again to 37$ in 1910. Agricultural production 
increased on the whole- the number' of farms rose from 1,449,000 in 1850 
^5^37,000 in 19o ° and the actual acreage from 293 million to 838 
million. This great agrarian development was a tremendous factor in the 
upswing of American industry and prosperity. In 1879 the great exports 
of wheat, largely a result of very serious grain shortage in Europe 
(.which created an increased demand and higher prices for American wheat) 
-clayed an important role in the revival and upward movement of prospe- 
rity. The farmers bought large amounts of industrial goods in the form 
of agricultural equipment,* the same elements created new markets for 
manufactured consumption goods. The fact that the United States was a 
debtor nation at the time had a lot to do with the gains that were accru- 
ing to the farmers. They provided the bulk of the exports which were 
used to pay for the imports of capital and goods which stimulated the 
rapid expansion of American industrialism. This was one of the most im- 
portant factors accounting for the relative propsperity of the farmers. 
Their goods were used to pay off the debts of the United States which at 
the time was a debtor nation ( A tremendous amount of foreign capital was 
in the U.S., mostly British). Thus the rise of industrial America carried 
in its wake a. momentary upswing in the general conditions of. the farmers. 

Change Prom Debtor to Cr editor 
The exploitation of agriculture' was inseparably associated with capita- 
list growth; it provided a labor supply, cheap food, raw materials and 
markets and it bore the brunt of the costs of industrialization and 
accumulation in their earlier stages {Also, the debtor position of the 
United States provided propsperity for the farmers in as much as their 
products were used to pay off the debts) 

As Corey says in his 'Decline of American Capitalism* ; "The sharp fall 
in agricultural- -prices, a result of the post war deflation which threw 
most of the burdens of deflation upon the farmers, contributed greatly 
i^° capitalist prosperity-by increasing real wages and releasing urban 
-purchasing power for manufactured goods and by lowering the cost of raw 
materials. In spite of much lower incomes, the farmers were forced by the 
low prices of agricultural products to increase productivity with improved 
methods and mechanization: the output (less exports) of agricultural ma- 
chinery rose from $1«1 million in 1923 to |137 million in 1929. Most far- 
mers did not share in the prosperity. But not only was the agricultural 
distress no bar to prosperity, it was one 'of the contribu ting causes: t.Vi ft 
final prcof of the decline and hopeless state of American aericuj tura" 
(my emphasis ) ' — ■- — "- 

Pr0 m this we see the definite exclusion in the post ^P^oSStSJ'/SS; 
mers; prosperity flourished . *^* **f e J^ ? t not be imagined that the 
word of caution must .be- stressed here^L.t it no| ^ & exclusively 
causes of the decline i^erioaa ag ^^ r J h ^ . , but in every I 
in the domestic scene. The decline, not ^ ^J^ arena - whence flow t, 
counts,, is inaxtricab^./elated to th^xntornatxon d toQ deepJ _ y 

the general decline. (This ^Pgg* Se genera? oSt line of the position 
^riS^ to relate it. to our mam 


The World War, as we Know, wit f . seethe £*ij.d '^^^^^ 
the front ranks of the world ^ "^ S 3 ri an mperialism to alter 
versal in portion made it incumbent upon ^rican^ p^ fchere from 
its policy. The creditor position ^^hv change. e tG ? 
are adequately summed up *y ; Henrj [,^^^^r general balance of payments 
sident: "Our debtor-creditor PJ^^V^oditor country. As such, it 
bear upon our foreign trade. This ^^.^"orxoun^ry^ ices than 
should be prepared to buy abppad relatively more gooas ^-^^ pay; 
it sells. Otherwise the countries lndo *t t° ^c a £ fter the war and also 
ments." Herein, isthe key to the ^f^/! S y of the Roosevelt govern- 
the present day reciprocal trade ^^ftrchangoto a creditor na- 
ment! The stagnation -of world agrioultu^,^^ ^ 

t ion and the loss of European markets ^?"~ Q ,£ that agricultural ■■ 
American agriculture. Prom the /^/^S^^ ^f Sports of the U.S. 
products on the whole comprised only 27% of total P ci trade . How 
This is the smallest proportion in the history oi or in ten years 
small that figure really is may be ga Sj^^g ct z ^^ 0Xporta . 

ending in 1C52 agricultural P roduc ^^^r^!?irn to the tune of sixteen^ 
After the war the U.S. rose o a c t k .tic n to t t *J 

billions of dollars. A « edlt0 ? , .S^ Sxodct" the Repayment of loans from 
than it imncrts and at the same time expect ^ ™p y ± uslj De ing 

debtor nations (provided of o°^ B ?*^l fl llIm SSShapl^g-' "a P°li°7 with , 
m ade). And so we have Roosevelt i»P£«-alisffl £^mp ng^ debts- with the 

the view of giving these nations a °^ ^ ™ *;££ t0 get along on a 
farming population suffering still ^ *nd £ aving to g hope i esS ness 
basis of plowing under plus loans. x he actual a^w 

will be brought out below. Monopoly Capitalism 

Agrloultjwo^^DoomejfPlo^^ they 

in 1928 tTw7oira?iTTEapo: or-tne ^*^lod ^e farmers 'share of the 
constituted .15.6* of the gainf »^ /^f^^aV. S* following rates 
national income began to fal1 ^^-S^Jawlng was almost a total loss: 
will show that as a business P*^ 08 "^?* ~ J5k£ ^investment fell from 5.4$ 
?he rate of return on tho. operators met ^capital invosr 19g(5 . 1928 (all 

in 1919 to 3.7$ in 1928 with only 1.6% as % ^ n f t ^fZ, e t, t . statistics of 
f? g fres from Agricultural Yearbook: J b ?J ft *^tS.Srt^A* "^ the ■ 

Income) Again from Coreyw - n very i deductcd . from the farmers 
value of food produced and c0 ^ u ^ 1 ^„ la ^i ow $<>£. Most of the farmers 
total, their share becomes wu ^ h ^ m ^torest and taxos and in the purchase 
income is spent, on the payment of lnterost^ and t ^ Their purchase 

of equipment and supplier .which ^ .^J c ;Sf wcoa S t fro more.than 7^ _ , 
of both consumption- and capital goods aia n de creased:: s:harply : ..M t 
of the totnl". ™2±LlZ™^^ 

no longerj^el^ £ e , They arc d is ; J 

proBonTpciltlon u^or- wonopo^ ^| U strial capitalism. To prove this las 

° f "InothOrTibw widely .held but no so frequently expressed is that, ^ 


relatively, agriculture no longer constitutes a major factor in our 
highly industrialized economy. While (the farmers expenditures) are -- 
important and probably as in the case of exports represents a margin on 
which a good proportion of profits are based, they aro not large enough 
to warrant the assertion that the national welfare depends to an over- 
whelming extent upon agricultural prosperity, or that recovery from 
depression can be brought about by restoring farm prices to their pre- 
vious levels... In recont years American industry has not been affected 
substantially by changes in farm purchsing power." 

Wo need but to quote a capitalist publication in order to ^ prove our 
contention that in the present era agriculture is a doomed field of 
endeavor. As a factor in the present economy it is nil- a total loss from 
the business point of view as cur figures above proved. 

Farm Income, Prices, Holdings, Population 
The conclusion oFTh'e war~b*rought with it, as we- have already established, 
a tremendous drop in prices, income, etc. In 1919 the income (estimated 
in millions of dollars) was $16,935 and in 1933 it was $6,256. ;From 1921 
to 1929 duo partly to the increased production income rose a little. In 
1929 the decline in agricultural prices was up to 63%1 In 1927 the far- 
mers obtained 20 cents a pound for their cotton; It was 16 cents m -U29 
and 6 cents' in 1931, In 1933 they obtained 10 cents a pound due to the 
intervention of the government* Three times in five years the price 
jumped more than 40%- once up and twice downii (Figures from the report 
of the National Emergency Council) % 1932 the gross income of the t ar- 
mors had fallen to 44% of "their 1929 level. It is estimated that in 192tf 
~the farmers (all groups) who constituted 15.6 of the population had but, 
15. 4$ of the wealth of the country. Sixty years age they had 36/o oi the 
wealth of the United States. In 1929, the farmers were 15.5^ of tho po- 
pulation- a fall of one tenth percent in one year. 

1 The number of farms rising steadily from 1,449,073 in 1858 to 6,448,34* 
in 1920 fell to 6,288,64' In 1930, a drop of 159,695 farms in 10 years. 
The farm population fell from 31,614,000 in 1920 to 30,447,000 m 1930. 
A surplus farm population appeared in 1909-1919 because of the small in- 
crease in the number of persons working on farms. About this surplus po- 
pulation Corey (IBID) says: "It has since grown and will continue to grow 
as productivity in farming rises and output la stationary or fails, kot 
only have we the gradual proletarianization of the farm surplus, some-, 
thing which bids well for the coming American revolution, but we have, had 
an absolute: displacement of labor in agriculture. In 1929. American farms 
gave work to 54*1,000 fewer persons than in 1919. 

American farming is gradually decaying to as hopeless a position as the, 
one in which European farming has been for the past century. Long ago who-r. 
there appeared a surplus farm population in Europe it was cither absorboe 
s b"v the expansion of the native industry or by another method-emigration, 
a proat deal of it to the U.S. *nd now American farming is productmg a 
> surplus population in the era of decay capitalism when industry is unable 
^ to absorb those who cannot find work on the farm. .It reminds one of the 

tremendous hordes of people who wandered Europe, dispossessed from -choir 
i s farms, their holdings and their livelihood. Capitalism in its rush to 
"^greater profits creates the stumbling blocks which will cause it to stop, 

fall and be smashed," 
xsi Holding's a nd Strata -Farm Tenancy 

* x \ Lewis Corey estimates" that 'there aro about b00-,000 capitalist farmers, 

200,000 of the middle class type and 3,500,000 of the poor farmers. The 

Notional Emergency Council's report to the President estimates that the 
• mortwo debt has been growing steadily for the last twenty years. The 

agricultural yearbook says that In 1935 2,350,313 farms wera mortgaged. 

Sd from the sa me N.E.O. report we learn tha tj\.. a checku p ^n 46 scatter, 

hands of corporations , mostly banks a nd insurance companies, which -had 
Been forced *tb foreclose their mortgages," . . 

" This pr o cess has '" f oTCormor^TEanWn of the South' s farmers into t ho 
status of tenants, tilling land they do not own. Tho Dcpt. of Agriculture- 
Report for 1937 tells ua that tenants and sharecroppers number about 
£,565,000 porsons and represent about 42$ of all of our farmers. 

Farm tenancy, unlike Topsy,did not "just grow" . A situation whereby half 
of all the fertile land of the United ^tatcs is tenant farmed needs ^re_ 
of an explanation. As we s&i&above, the present scene was sot by the Civil 
War. The. slave economy was destroyed. Thousands of former^ slave owners 
were left with plenty of land but with no labor or capital. Hundreds oi 
thousands of former slaves and impoverished whites were merely loft stand- 
ing willing to work, but no land. The result was the crop- sharing system. 
Under this system the land was worked by men who. paid for. the privilege 
with a share of their harvest. Naturally cash crops were worked- in other 
words those crops which would yio.ld better money payments as against the 
others (Thus today 60% of all the cotton farmers are sharecroppers) As a 
result, over wide areas of the South cash-cropping., .one.. .crap, £aj«mi.n£, ,a.nd 
tenant farming have come to mean practically the same thing. 

Tenant families form the most unstable part of the population. More than 
a third of them move every year, and only a small percentage stay on the 
same place long enough to carry on a five year crop rotation. Such fre- 
quent moves are the result of the traditional tenure system under which 
most renters hold the land by a mere spoken agreement, with no assurance 
that they will bo on the same place next season. Loss than 2% have written 
leases which give them security of tenure for more than one year. J 

Under these circumstances the tenant has no incentive to protect the 
soil, plant cover crops or keep buildings in repair. On the contrary no 
has every reason to mine the soil for every possible penny of immediate 
cash return. 

Tenancy is vjry prevalent in tho corn, wheat, cotton and tobacco areas. 
In many places in the South the tenants represent more than 8©% of what 
arc ' erroneously termed farmers. Approximately 41% of all tenant farmers 
in the U.S. are in the cotton belt. In corn and wheat 44% of what arc _ 
called farmers are in reality tenants. Sharecropping works on the toasis 
of the cropper receiving half of the pay that the landowner receives a.t ( 
the end of the year- out of this ho must pay all expenses. When we realize 
that the cropper gets all of his tools and lives on credit we can see his i 
actual earnings diminishing to practically nothing. The negro sharecropper i 
receives about $182 a year md thowhite not much more. The sharecropper s i 
status can be likened to that of a worker in a company town. Just as the t 
latter sees his very small pay diminish before his eyes in the form of e 
payments of debts owed to the company owned stores,etc- so does the share- t 
cropper find himself continuously in debt to the landlord. Even the re- h 
port of the N.E.C. admits this: "...the majority of Southern . tonant_ far- Ml 
mors must depend for credit on their landlords or the ffurnish merchant' U 
who supplies seed, food, fertilizer. Their advances, in fact, have largo I ai 
replaced currency for a considerable part of the, rural-, population.... Fpr., ._/>c 
security, the landlord or merchant takes a lion on the entire crop, whzciroe 
is to be turned over to him immediately after harvest in settlement of : Cl 
the debt. Usually ho keeps the books and fixes tho interest rate. Even li ol< 
be is fair and does not charge excessive interest, the tenants find them- 
selves in debt at the end of the year." The comparison to a company tow 
is very, striking indeed. The workers also find themselves in debt- bocauire 
cf the company store, the -company owned homes, the company owned bank,eti 

The sharecropper like the worker has but to slave, get a little moStary 
return as reinibursement,and then- pay -it all hack to those that gave it 

to Mm, The landlord/like tha-bpss; takes- it ; out of hia right pocket only 
to have it returned ;^to.;■,|4?^i^^;^fe^t*^ 

• I42dLi^ - ■ - . " 

.About the * living conditions of- the 'sharecroppers and tenants little 
need be said* Their horrible oonditons are. well imown^and many f s the tale 
that has been written about them,, statistics show that th§ richest state 
in the South ftanks lower In per capita income. than the poorest state -. ov t- 
side the region, In 193? :the average income in the South was $314 % in the 
rest of the 'country it was $604 ? or nearly twice asmuch^Even the so-callea 
prosperity year of 1929 showed that farm. population received an average 
gross income of only $186 a ye&r-and out of this had to be paid all their 
operating expenses. t f ools 9 fertilizers^ seed, faxes , interest on debts • etc,. One 
can imagine what was;. left- for thenbare; necessities of life c It is hardly 
surprising y therefore ? such comparatively ordinary items as autos ? radios ? aaC 
books are. ^relatively rare in many Southern country areas c But this is a 
general picture, The conditions of the sharecroppers is even worse j 

,l Fo;LJ*or^ 


Eyrone c A recent study" of Southe:ra~cot^ 

average tenant family ^received an income of only $?3 a person for a year-,; 
p^work* Earnings of sharecroppers ranged from $38 to $87 per person and 'mi *Vr 
income of $38 annually means only a little more than 10 cents a day n £NEC 
Report~my emphasis)* The almost unbelievable ignorance of these people is 
the source of many a joke of our "better comedians u c But when we probe lint o 
the actual' conditions- the comedy becomes tinged with a goody portion of 
tragedy.- Aware of their very low income (if it can be termed ri income u )we car 
very well picture the modern facilities of these people~the electrical e- 
quipment ? running water ? homes ? etc ^ In 1930 illiteracy was higher in the Sov; 
than any place else* Its ; are more subject to sickness than the people of x< 
sitiular area* 

The same report states that by the most conservative figures four tail*. 
lien Southern families shcbuld be rehoused* This is one half of all the' fam 
iliee in the South \ It is obvious that the houses themselves would' convert 
the city slums into mansions by comparison* Not only are the houses rotten 
antiquated 9 and the breeding spot of all diseases 9 but they are situated i- 
the worse place s-ne&t to mills or mines or on low swampy Ian 

swampy land subject to 
floods and not good for anything else .Lack of running water and impure wa 
ter supplies are rather common-all integral parts of that well-known Sour.: 
ernhospitality 3 As regards child labor the South leads the rest of the na 

cr tion in both industrial and farm work* This employtoent of children natural. 
has a. ver detrimental affect on their education and physical well-beings 
When .'we. consider wages on a whole we are reminded of Marx's statement tha 
the worse the conditions are under which the proletarian labors? the lower 

jl] are his wages* This is exceedingly so in the South. Wages are tremendously 
JtaJLow- especially to the women and children* The Southern families are in much 

ch need of clothes? food 9 and even the basic necessities of life e We must eon- 
! cliMe that it seems that it is really true what they, are saying about good 

if old Dixie ii 

sttH ^oletarianigatiqn, and,. Replacement of th'g^^ar^r^gpfir 

Tml Further investigation into the terrible plight of Uie sharecropper will 

c: u| reveal that now he is heir to. two effects of th<? system Under which he c$x 


ar,es,On the one ha.nd ? the white sharecropper is being replaced by the re:r~ 
teijcr by the negro with the larger family, and two, he is becoming prole 

The picture of the Southern sharecropping system was once simply thiL h 
the agricultural worker Without land , implements , or stock of his ewnjwould 
enter into an agreement with a landowner to farm a portion of his land,. 'ih.: 
landowner would agree to supply the tenats' needs including food and cloth 
ing, against a repayment at harvest time. Thus the tenant becomes a share- 
cropper. Now many landowners are combining sharecropping with renting by ma 
ing the tenant turn over to him a minimum' number of bales of cotton* Under . 
sharecropping the 'cropper and the landlord divided half and half (not cour 
ing of course the debts of the sharecropper); under renting the landowning 
class has increased its pressure and almost dissolved the system known as 
sharecropping. The system of renting has taken its place which produces mo. ; . 
for the landlord and less for the tenant. The renter is obliged to pay a ce 
tain sum of money , which he must pay to tie landlord regardless of his ine; 
or produce, Sharecropping is now mostly confined totenants with the larger 
families-which are the negroes .This last point accounts for tie large numl 
of whites left stranded in favor of the large-family negroes, who thus sufj 
greater privation because they have more hands to put to work,! J The negro,] 
seems, has fallen from the "high standards "of pure sharecropping. 


In his book, "Tenant Farmer" ,E.Cauldwell says: "The real sufferer(in the 
cotton states) is the former sharecropper. Sharecropping, once the backbone 
? of the Southern agricultural empire is rapidly giving way to an even more 
vicious system of labor extract! on... the sharecropper of yesterday is the 
wage -worker ' of today, the man who peddles his brawn for 25 cents and 30 
cents a day, ,. the sharecroppers * place has been taken by the renter ,who^> v 
pays for the rent of the land whether there is anything lejgt for himself 
or not," Thus many foimer sharecroppers are being prole tar iani zed, and the < 
may work one day a we« k,or even ten days a month; and if he happens to be 
one out of five he mar qualify for relief work and earn $5 or $6 a week, .c 
Many are forced to live on a minimum of #3,60 a week, And these relief wot t 
ers are the aristocrats of Southern tenant labor,',' The planters' preferane t 
for negro teants is or,e of the most important factors in explaining why c 
the rising tide of unemployment would bear most heavily against the white tJ 
However we must point out that the figures themselves are many times mis- s? 
leading in considering the number of each strata, For example, if a tenant hi 
suffers the loss of a mule one year, he may revert back to the status of <' 
sharecropper, he position of the various elements is very pre car ious~al 
most always leading from tenant to sharecropper to wag e- labor „ Many times 
sharecropping and wage labor are combined and the chopper tends to deperi in^ 
more and more upon the 8*le of his labor power for his livelihoods pl< 


However .when we say that the system of sharecropping is givlcg way •; Sxs 
an even more vicious system of la.bor extraction* let it not be ass : .imp.d tibef 
the sharecroppers have" dissapeared* The latter plus the tenahts ^ r.iv|ed-6 
bfer 42% of the farm population What we are simply trying to prove ?s tivj ac 
the land owf ing class has found nevir- methods of getting greater profits oifsucl 
of these elements- 3l)by instituting a policy of renting, where by che vicftloi 
pays a stipulate d sum regardless of his crop;2)by hiring negroes with featj 
large families as against the whites, thus setting one against the other Jbult 
All this has caused terrific chaos in the sharecropping group because mctry e 
of them find themselves "out !r because of the a^ove, smal 

Taskfi_of^he m S;^^ (pro! 

A hasty glance at"the"nori^oTe'"ooiiditions of the sharecroppers mighaowen 
tempt one to link them up with the feudal serf .What is the distinction's tan t 

We rnusu not allow the bad physical conditions to negate historical dif- 
ferences in periods and epochs, If the similarity were true then we must 
» ?S ac ^.r e 5 that on the ag&arian-e c onomic field his oory . i s moving backwards 9 
inen the next logical step would have to be the re introduction of capi- 
talist relationships - on land-for 3 on the above assumption, this would be 
progressive. But such is not the case. We must not forget that feudalism 
n|ver .exas^ejLin^heJO^sXf this point is kept in mind then theTcK&ereiice 
is clear, Jharecropping represents nothing- less than a result of the gen- 
eral position of agriculture under the sway of finance capital in its de- 
£™? st a & e ^ ha ?ecropping simply means that the majority of the f arm 
population is slowly being prole tarianize€~from small owner to tenant to 
sharecropper to laborer, etc ♦This slow proletarianization simply adds ad- 
aiuional elements to the overthrow of capitalist society,which in terms ■ 
01 -/\jective pre-requf sites, was already ripe for its overthrow years ago. 

Linking this question up, to the problems of the American revolution, 
we must draw the following conclusions whereas for countries burdened 
with feudal remnants and which haven't had the opportunity to develop eg- 
ricsulture^along heal thy, organic, capitalist lines, the slogan of "land to 
the peasants "v/hich-- thereby, means to allow the peasants to function *1~ 
ong capitalist agrarian lines, constitutes a step forward in economic re- 
lations, m Americans well as in other advanced countries where the pro- 
letarianization of the agrarian elements is taking place) the slogan of 

land to trie sharecroppers" or "land to the tenant farmers" can only sig- 
nixy a return to; the crude , embryonic forms of capitalist agriculture, not 
only no-c signifying a step forward but a definite step backward /.the slo- 
gan can only mean that we advocate a return of the seini-proJeter-ian ele- 
ments to the status of petty-bourgeousie,thus creatine a buffer layer be- 

eradicating the clear-cut 

; 'tween the capitalist class . and the proletariat, eW 

class_ differentiations and the setting back of the proletarian revolution.. 

inc only possible historical progressive step forward consists of the so-' 

ciaiization 01 the land on which the tenant-farmer end the sharecrooper 
r toils ..Hence, while supporting such immediate demands as a bigger share of 
.c the crop for tfee- sharecropper or less rent and taxes for the tehantewe 

can very . welo. at appropriate moments, put forward among them the slogan of 
•e the socialization 01 those lands. This slogan is bound to find quicker e- " 
H sponse since, they do not .own the land on which they toil and by this tim<* 
Ihey have realized the futility of mortgaged farm holdings. " 

I, r) >'\ E&rmer ; 7 (and 7* j^safite 

s > Facts and figures in and. of themielvcs can,very many times, be mislead- 
■ n < ing,or mean nothing at all, Most: important i.s what one does with ore's -im- 
plements- they must be utilized' correctly. Before we can consider* the qu^s- 
tion^oi a -farmers and workers alliance, certain terms must be clarified, 
exactly whom do we mean by farmer and by peasa,nt?Havinp* in mind Russia" 
berore the Revolution, many people use the word peasant regardless of the 
economy of the particular collntry involved. Thus Russia.where agriculture 
accoan-ued for a predominant part of the national economy is confused wit: 
such a country like the U.3 >, where .in 1937 the farmers (i.e. the farm popul* 
tion) comprised 25% of the population and received less t-h an 11* of th« " 
\naoional income. In such a highly industrialized country like the U e S a/?ri 
,r Cultural exports as a whole were only 27% of tee total exports of the tm 
ma ^.As, we have shown above, the farm population as a whole occupy a very : ' 
small position in American imperialism and now are in & situation where 
tneir condition is not at all . important towards the general prosper* tv- 
(prosperity from the point of view of the capitalists of course );in Russia 
ghlhowever the reverse was entirely true. Agriculture occupied a very imnor- ' ' 
lupnt position in the general economy- the overwhelming percentage of lie 


population was in agriculture and of this group the vast majority con- 
sisted of small peasants with small holdings. Therefore it was quite cor- 
r S C +i to say tJiat "the problem of the Russian Revolution was the problem 
ol ^ the peasantry. The entire affair hinged on whether the peasantry , com- 
prising the vast majority of the population, could be won over to the 
side of ■the workers in the struggle against the landlord and the bour- 

„ ffl Ll the U.S. however such is not ti e case. Of the South f s farm families, 
J>o/, are^ tenants' without land of their own. And of the other half that is 
ownership-operated, the average farm does not consist of a few acres(as 
in Russia) but holdings of a hundred and more acres is the tendency, Thus 
we learn that farms of 500 acres or more rose from 217,224 to 240 , 316 in 
1937,and farms of 1000 acres or more rose from 67,405 to 80,620. Thus the 
tendency is for the larger holdings to get larger and the smaller ones 
to decrease or be wiped out by the big ones. We must not confuse the terms 
farmer" and "peasant "and use them interchangeably. When we spoke of the 
peasant in Russia we meant practically everyone in agriculture except the 
lanalord* this meant nea y everybody on the land and thus, the greatest 
majority in the nation. 

But in the U.S. the term H farmer"has an emtirely different meaning.ITot 
only ^ does it include the holders of farms of 500 and 1000 acres or more, 
but it also means the operators of small farms -practically everybody 
included under the term owner- operator .Why is this so?Haven»t we pointed 
out the terrible plight of the farmers-won't this create a change in the 
ideology ox the small farmers?When we answer this we must consider the 
tarmers as still members of the rural petty-bourgeousie who desire, above 
ail else ? to attain to the level of ihe large holders. Before he could con- 
sider unity with the proletariat he would ask himself what he has to gain 
He knows that the proletariat in the long run won't give him the land ** 
ana no matter how bad his conditions are he will still desire the present 
economy- in the hope that his holdings will increase, the croo be better 
*?T* J! ^ecieve better prices. The pettv-bourgeous farmer will cling to 
„tt !+ 2! jno natter* h °w thin,and"will unite with the large farmers a- 
gainst Jie workers on this basis. And the large holder,wh5 knows this,wU 
+SIZ% 52 + alse ^eams of the small holders in a crisis. There will be 
on-n^?L5 G +-J reduc j3-ons,better prices, etc/Thus,no matter how bad off thei ' 
J^f,\ 10 ; the rural petty-bourgeousie will tai3-end the big holders in tl » 
hope that in the long run the big holders will reward tfoemTlt is the 
same with the urban petty-bourgeous who likewise follows his larger mas- * 

v-now tS!?t SEfS *il 2 r ! Ward W ? en the battle is wer .Actually however we I 
^SSJ fhl h SL« e ? aSt ! r n ° lon ger ^eds his lackey he throws him out. Of . 
™Z J A +w o?5 e not automatically erase the possibility of many coming P< 
3E£i ?w \l%* ° f *- e work f rs to- the actual strugglejut we must under- U 
^£5 « at b ? far ? er 1S m ? ant not onl y the large holders but t» e small »a 
owner -operator ,who ever looks sky-ward, be 

The tenant- farmers-especially the sharecroppers-are in a more or less el 
seaa-proletarian position. When we consider the strata we must not lose tea 
Sight of the fact that it is aery easy to pass" from one group to anoih- °e£ 
ei\,As we stated above, the loss of a mule might mean the conversion of a soc 
tenant to a sharecropper. The latter are semi-proletarians in another aid 
cense-for many months of the year they work' on governmental projects andj&e 
s xi st by the sale of their labor-power only. These distinctions must be las 
clearly understood when we consider an alliance of the workers and farm-'eti 
ers » lust 


■ ,r < ' ■ -.yorkeyft and Far mers Alliance 9 ' 

Keeping in mind the d&ferentia^ons made above between farmer and 
j>easant and of the various strata in the farm population} We must reject 
completely the slogan that calls for" a workers ?nd farmers alliance. In 
Russia the mass of the population consisted of peasants whose problem 
had to be solved. In order to make possible a revolution the small prol- 

I* ctariat had to have them as allies kAnd the revolution was possible be- 
cause of the fact that the workers realized that there were democratic 
tasks that were unsolved, Thus the dual struggle of the worker against 
^he bourgeousie and the peasant against the landlord-combined into one 

^fighVthe workers and the peasants against the bourgeousie and the land- 
lords. The unsolved democratic tasks of the peasantry < the majority of the 
population)made such an alliance not only possible but mandatory, Real- 
iing this we can understand how a revolution waa possible with such a 
small proletariat*T»hat can we say about the farmers in the U.S.-Seepw 
ing in mind" the fact <that by farmers we do not mean the agricultural: work 
ere, the sharecroppers or the tenants? 

then we consider such an alliance we must first see if any base of 
agreement exists. In other words,have the Aaerican farmers basic tasks 
which have not been solved and which t&e proletariat can only solve ?Leav« 
ing out tie fact that there will be many poor members of the farm popula- 
tion fighting with the workers f we must state that the American Revolu-^ 
tion will be a one-class revolution. -in short there will be no such thing 

• as a two class alliance,. The petty-bourgepusie as a class is reactionary? 
it does not seek the overthrow and destruction of the economic system but 
its preservation-to- mold it so that it, the petty*bourgeousie,can only also 

partake of its fruit. The petty-bourgeousie can play a progressive role wher 
united with the proletariat. Thus the question poses^itself -why should the 
rural petty-bourgeousie unite wiih the proletariat ?The peasant united 

~wdth the proletariat 'in Russia because they were promised land. But the per 
Sants would prefer to join hands with the landlords if they would give 
them land. But in Russia, because of the predominant role of agriculture xn 
the national economy, the ties of landlordism were too closely knit with 
the - big bourgeousie. Expropriation of the landlords •property would have be 
fatal to the big bourgeousie and to the landlords. To give the peasant the 
land would have meant a complete break with landlordism. As. a re suit ? 
when' the" peasant discovered that the landlords * because of their indissol- 
uble ties, could not give them the land, they marched with the proletariat 
against the landlords and the bourgeousie. And so,we had a numerically 
weak proletariat overthrowing the capitalist system* • 




Havewe in. America unsolved agrarian tasks which will admit of t the 
possiblity of a workers and farm^s alliance ?When one links agrarian 
tasks with giving land, one might be tempted to say that the tasks are 
unsolved-what about the landless sharecroppers ?The reason for this, is -to 
I be, found in the highly industrialized capitalist system prevailing, whica 
reduced agriculture to a doomed field and in its wake slowly crushed the 
,<, elements under' neath. The answer is the proletarianization of many of tie 
farm, elements. The position of the petty-bourgeousie under capitalism was 
best illustrated by Marx,when he said that capitalism is like a wedge in 
a !society-the further in it goes.the more does it crush everything in the 

kiddle while those on top go higher and those on. bottom go lower, -Hius 
. n <3. the reason the sharecroppers have no land is because advanced America 
; has long been ripe for the proletarian revolution. We do not advocate the - 
ir m-return of the sharecroppers" to the status of rural petty- bourgeousie. We :: 
toust move forwards the wheel of history-not help' push it backwards. 

Once again^in conai<3«rrdrrig a workers and. farmers alliance we must ie' . 
the strata of the farm population well in mind, The rural proletarians 
are not the farmers—they are of the same class as the workers in the 
city* The sharecroppers and the tenants in their precarious position are 
also not the farmers. They must " convinced that their only salvation 
lies with the workers* The only solution to the jferg .^oblem is^a social- 
ist one.T he farmer <$©ss not fight for JtmflHlW- feWivM 1&at a long time w 
^S?SJt he wants are markets for his crops and "better prices.The rural 
petty^bourgeeusie will not fight for the Social! sation of the lan$ no 
matter how small their holdings ahdhow bal $iei# conditien^lfe*!! fighfe 
with main and might to preserve t&e fresent economic system with the HQj£ 
that he'll be rewarded, Although his noting is small and his conditions 
1^|lwith the big holder # e s * e ® a possibility of de£t reductions, better 
ibices, etc. The small holder wees only socialization of his land with th§? 
workers, ad this makes kim recoil with terror. The big holder will try ev- 
erything to woo him because he knows ta at the small holder would rath#r 
have his small plot than a new society.After all is said and done he is 
still too much of a pett#vbaurgeous« 

■ la«ieri*l^og Eartv 
j^rofii wiiat we have Just sail the impossibility of a Farmer-Labor Fas^ 
ty fitting against capitalism becomes obvious. Any such party precludes 
the possibility of an alliance between the two groups>which bubble we 
just burst. Mo matter what guise it may take *any such party will wind up 
as an ardent supporter of the present economic ' system. One hawever may 
point to the fights of the farmers in tfte past. It is true tne farmers, 
fought-but only against the railroads which took their land and which 
charged high rates. They never like the workers fought against the «t«4*, 
ing trusts as such. Their fight was always based on their own interests. 
The tremendpus strikes and battles of jlabor are indelible proof of the ,, 
fact that the workers did not fight one trust but the entire system of 
capitalist exploitation,which was organizing against them. 

The best proof of how the farmers will fight was offered by the Her* , 
shey Strike, Here, the farmers, faced with the loss of their markets for ' 
milk, became the best agent of the bourgeousie by actually organizing 
groups to physically break the strike Jme American farmer s want their . 
markets and better prices, They are the most nationalistic group-what hi 
■wants is a good crop, a good price and a good markets, And if he organia 
against the workersln one strike, what won't he do in a revolution??? 
No base for a workers and farmers alliance-no base for a workers and 
farmers party.Any Farmer-Labor Party will merely be another worthy age 
and evdent enthusiast of the ee<?nomic system existing* 

Tji e Government and the Tenant Farmers. 
The ijankhead tone's Farm Tenant Act provides for loans to be handed 
out by local committees composed of thoea controlling the ones who cod '' 
trol the shareorojip^rs.H. Wallace in his 1937 report states t "Such a pr« 
g&am cannot lift a large proportion of ©ur tenant farmers t© the ownei 
ship status",When we consider that 2 out of § are tenants and that fai- . , 
tenancy increased froi 18S0-1935 at the rate of 33,46$ farms a year m 
are inclined to agreeiUo-not many will be elevated to the ownership si 
tus,Th.e social revolution against the combined fore© ©f capitalist ex- c 
ploitation is the only way out for these elements, ' ' ' J 

■• - a: 



>s of hjhgary 

?o the Working People of Hungary s 

,.racfe*sT' : Proletarians] . -' The ' international • and the Hungarian ^ coun- 
ter-revolution are swooping "clown with grim £ary -upon the Hungarian 
Soviet Republic j ■the state 'of the poor and the workers, the destroyer 
of the dominion".; Of capital, the constructor of ^Socialism. 

The pplice firce of the international counter-revolution of the capita, 
ists*, the Entente, has set its armed hordes 'upon us . The misled ano 
terrorized mass of proletarians which has been 'welded to the slave- 
chains of the Roumanian boyars or forced to groan under the- yoke ^w 
the pr pie tar.; 

and exploitation ■ ■ - 

On command- of Pr em h , English, .and- American .capitalists and, Czech am 
Roumanian nationalists, Czecho-Slovaklan, French, colored -peasants 
and workers are attempting to force the liberated Hungarian proletar- 
iat onccy more under the yoke of the capitalists and oppresors..^ me- 
attack which they are directing against the rule of the • Hungarian pro- 
letariat purpo se s ■ to' r e- e s tablish ' th e -privat^,c^£g§]m„lQ|.^SS~ L3g2£&— 
'i§£,.,W,9SU ,gt,i <m f . . "" ' ■' : ' ... 

They want to return the '"banks and hence the'rcosiplete dominion over the 
economic life of the country, to the- money^klhjgs • _-,;• ... -.- 

■They want to. return to the stockholders the dr- dividends; and their un- 
earned Income' : 'and to turn the hard labor of (-'the. "miner axrl .the, inaustr;/ 
of tte faetory ; ;worker once more into a source .-of prosperity and ease 
'for the idlers... '. • •'-■■ '"•"''" 

'•They want to give- back all the means of pr'bdu'ction, ;" the, factory, the 
■■ machine, the raw material, the transportation facilities, to the ex- 
ploiters and once more set upon the workers' necks, the doss, tue ai- 
re c tor, the slave-driver, V. ' : ' r ~ ■ 

They- want to force the" workers to pay the interest on the war loans 
and surrender a tithe out of the return from .their labor; to the drone t 
'the various reht^prof iteers, ■.■-'•• ■\':y;.'"' ■■ 

They want to reinstate the landlords whom the country people have dri 
en out and to thrust the poor peasants, -fee- small landholder, tne 
. squatter., tte agriculture.! workers back into "the condition of sertdoi 

I They want to nut the confiscated money and jewels back into the hands 
of the rich so that they may be -able to continue their luxurious, in- 
1 ':, dolent, frivolous life which is a bane to society. 

G - ' . . . 

\ Ihe house-rent usurers and the usurious dealers who without any.neces- 
i : :'.sity or cause have raised the price of every commodity - these they 
want to let loose once more upon the proletarian consumer,, so fhat tfi 
value of his money may decrease still more. They want to reduce .wag- 
andincrease the hours, of labor, In short, whatever : %m.:.l!M^MlM^MP. 
|- built u n in the-'tway of Socialist institutions they want to- tear/down 
and "distort7". . " ' '../"*. 




The international counter-revolution' aims to force upon us once more 
with armed migtt the dominion of private property, the strength of thf) , 
capitalists, and it aims to "drown in the blood of the workers /uhat | 
mighty work of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, a work wnich has * 
carried us amid a thousand dangers and sufferings but with giant scjvc| 
toward the world of Socialism. * 

Under the protection of the international capitalistic counter-revolu-j 
tion preparations are being made to organize ^.Jlungarjian^pm^r^revc; 

Under the protection of the Roumanian and Czecho-Slovakian army of occi; 
pation the" great Hungarian patriots have gathered to lay^ waste the Lun- 
garian land with the force of arms. In Arad the landlords, -ube capita, 
ists, and their beholden retinue of bourgeois politicians have establi- 
shed an opposing government. Like the Russian leaders of 1849, so to- 
day the representatives of the ruling classes are clearing the way lor 
the present hostile invasion. They are trying to organize awhju.e_gua 
for the white govern ment. The justices of the peace, the notaries, tn. 
little autocrats of' the comi tats, the former congressional representa- 
tives of privileges, the grafters, who have been deprived of their ^ 
business, 'the bankrupt adventurers, all the derelicts of the worn~ouo_ 
and overthrown political parties, finding support in the Roumanian anc 
I'reneh arms are preparing to revive the class government of tyranny ai 
oppression, they are organizing to wrest the political power from the 
poor workers and peasants and to entrust it again to those mercenary I 
oppressors and politicians, to those classes whom only the storm of t| 
revolutions was able to shake out of their political seats of power, 

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat as transition stage of the state 
to Socialism - that is the watchword of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, 

The dictatorship of the oppressors and exploiters as a permanent form 
of government - that is the emblem of the counter-revolution. 

In the factories, in the fields, in the offices, all power to belong 

to the 'workers, the producers - that is the significance of our red • 

banner. j- 

All authority vested in the landldrd, the manufacturer, tfe banker, * 
the bishop - that is the motto which sullies the white flag of our t 
opponents. a 

The preparing and establish ing of Socialism - that is the purpose and °. 
the reason for existence of the Soviet Republic. ^ 

The vain attempt to revive capitalism - that is the economic program 
of the counter-revolution. 

Hence it is not a war, whose furies are now being loosed upon us, ev« 
though it is being. conducted by the force of arms, but an &rmed, .p.lajil 
s truggle which Hungarian and International capitalism is carrying on 
against the proletariat of Hungary, the advance guard of the world re 
volution. This conflict is the struggle for the existence and develc 
ment of the working class, a life and death struggle which will mean 

V - ; 

■cue realization or the overthrow of Socialism, and every prole taria..i 
is a traitor to "himself , a traitor to his class., a traitor to "the 
sacred cause of the social world revolution , a traitor to the world- 
redeeming idea of Socialism, who does not now w. th all his ^ readiness^ 
to sacrifices with all his energy, with all his courage, his lite ana 
limb, his work, his manhood, stand by the endangered revolution, tne 
besieged Dictatorship of the Proletariat , the hard-pressed cause ol 

The organized workers of Budapest are at this moment at the front hold- 
ing over the dominion of the proletariat a shield made ox their own 
living bodies, "The pick of the workers have taken up arms in order, 
even at the' cost, of .their lives * to- defend' the great idea of the ru^e 
of the "workers. j to protect the cause of. 3M-BQSJSlJ^2l2A^SS2i^2^& 
from any reverse, 

,? V/e believe that the great energies of Socialism poured forth in an 
inexhaustible stream will render this Red Army* which is fighting the _ 
class struggle of the Workers against the hordes of the exploiters anc, 
onpressors., invincible . But this struggle necessitates the work? the 
sacrifices "of the workers and poor peasantry of the whole country | 
We, therefore, call all proletarians, the workers of city and village.; 
all the adherents of outraged Poverty demanding power, to arms. We _ 
call upon the proletariat of the occupied districts to prevent witi ai. 
lawful and unlawful means, with all methods of open and underground 
warfare, the- organization of the white counter-revolution and to iigtt, 
with everv weapon of individual and mass action against all counter- 
revolutionary classes, groups j and individuals^ We call; upon every 
proletarian of the occupied districts tg^d^tmc^^jm^s^j^^mSPj^^, 


:a t i 

of the toiling masses of the poor 

But let the capitalists and the counter-revolutionists heed the follow- 

c. in ^ ! 

The cause of the Proletariat, of the social revolution cannot jfall, in 

m fact it is obviously making strides the world over. And the forces 
of -the proletariat will advance, to the points where at this moment 
the counter-revolutionists are hiding under cover of ' the arms of . the 

' imperialistic conquerors, and then our settlement with those who intro- 
duced armed civil war against the rule of the proletariat will be 
merciless and ■ Unsparing* - But until we are able to "extend the power ot 
the proletariat to those districts which have been wrested from us , we 
owe it *to our own principles, and the obligation which -we have assumeu 
toward the world revolution,' to work with all our might to destroy roc 
and branch' the economic system of capitalism and tte state based upon 
oppression and force, and out of the c onstr uctive .force s„,of ..Jogieaism 

ma to rebuild and perfect it as- much as possible in the triumphant, in- 
domitable spirit of the Dictatorship, of. the Proletariat* 

m \ Long live the International Socialist World Revolution! / ■ 

Long' live the Dictatorship- of the Proletariate 

i "Long live the Hungarian Soviet Republic J 
eve : .r to ..•■-... 



5 *<\ e c-o to our proletarian . (The Glass Struggle, August j 1919} ■ 

/e*3 brothers at the froit ,-..«.. 

ean! ■ 

E2J:,T^IAJ^M0TEs ■ (14) 

In keeping with the editorial policy of the "Spark" we invite pole- 
mics vrom opponent organizations. In this issue there appears an ( 
article by comrade Mienov - "The Party and the Proletariat"- which 
is a polemic directed principally against the tendency that centers 
around the magazine "International Review", the Libertarian organs 
"The Vanguard" and "Living Marxism", theoretical organ of the Coun- 
cil Communists* Should any of these organizations care to reply to 
this article, the pages of the "Spark" are open' to them. 



Queries have been directed at us, from many sources, by workers who 
desired to know the stand of our organization with regard to the 
Leninist position on the Party. These questions have come princi- 
pally from people who cannot understand how it is that we can refuse 
to label the Russian state proletarian" in character and yet adhere 
to the basic principles of Leninism. Stalinism, in their eyes, re- 
presents nothing else than the continued march of Leninism. In their 
haste to prove their argumert , -they have especially picked out the 
Leninist position on the Party as offering the best corroboration of 
its synonymity with Stalinism. Aside from the Anarchists who throw 
only vulgar epithets at Leninism, the "International Review" seems to, 
be in the vanguard of the forces which aim to prove, theoretically, 
that the Party- vanguard concept of Lenin was just what caused the 
degeneration of the Russian revolution. The magazine, "Living 
Marxism" of the Council Communists seems to have derived its name by 
pr&pogating the death of the original Marxian concept which argued foi 
the necessity of a vanguard party. 

This article, therefore, had to be changed to serve three purposes. 
Whereas originally the author only intended to take up the relation 
of the Party to the proletariat in a general theoretical light, the 
confusion engendered by the above-mentioned tendencies made it nece. 
ssary to review the Leninist polemic against the Russian Economists} 
which serves very well as a polemic against the "Economists" of our 
day, i.e., the above-mentioned tendencies, in order best to illustra 
what is meant by a "Leninist Party position". Secondly, the article 
had, of necessity, to treat with the relation of the Bolshevik Party 
to the proletariat in the Russian revolution. We think this the be si f 
method of combatting the oft-made attempt to link up the Leninist i 
Party position with the dead - corpse of October, c . 

.......... pc 

J. cc 

The degeneration of the Russian revolution has resurrected many a ^j. 
struggle which preceeded the revolution. It is strange that after a VG 
lapse of more than a decade since internal differences shook the re* p 
volutionary movemeit in Tsarist Russia, the revolution should have -f-j 
come and gone and we be still debating the same problems whch the ye un . 
1917 should have settled once and for all. That only goes to prove p « 
that the divergencies of opinion which then prevailed were of a deej j^i 
rooted character and that such differences will remain alive until as 
capitalism has been ended, sta 



m — — , 

(15) . 
The "International Review" and Co. point to present day Russia as 
offering a vindication of the correctness of their long held anti- 
Bolshevik view. Martov has been resurrected, his polemic against 
,* Lenin T s "State and Revolution" translated into English and the cru- 
sade against Bolshevism is on in full force. Here and there Rosa 
Luxemburg *s views are given wide currency (which they well deserve )~ 



twing ■ 'i 
the tic authors. They would- do'better if they' unlocked' the keys to 
their own arsenals,-! dug up -.some of tfie old; 1 , rusty sheets, ; of the Russian 
Economists papers and* per iodic als, anti-' showed ^o iihe^^orld "that even 
prior to their "theoretical 'I expose s-f of : Bolshevism, 'there were' people ■. 
who ? without the need of a totalitarian' Stalin. -to open their, 'eyes, were 
already attacking the theoretical premises of Bolshevism and were pre- 
senting the basic political concepts- which our latest critics are now 
reformulating, . - '•..-•' 

e question which had its importance then, and still deserves primary 
nsideration, relates to the role .of consciousness- in historical do- 



velopment. The Economists maintained then as our Bolshevik critics 

maintain now that? ' ■ 

(1) spontaneously the working class gravitates towards socialism. 

(2) the # injection of the bacilli of revolutionary ideology by a po- 
litical party of the working class is unnecessary since politics 
always follows economics, 

(3) the working class by its economic struggle against the capita- 
lists reaches spontaneously that socialist consciousness which 
enables it to overthrow bourgeois society, 

from, these false premises follow two logical conclusions: first that 
the economic struggle is primary, basic. Secondly, that the building 
of a vanguard political party is unnecessary} in fact only serves to 
keep the working class in the tow of a few leaders who will utilise 
them for their individual purposes, Nevertheless, when forced to re- 
cognize that there existed a political struggle, the Economists in- 
dulged in lip service to political propaganda by declaring that; "po- 
litical agitation must be the superstructure to 1h e agitation carried 
on in favor of the economic struggle," 

In summing up the viewpoint of the Economists, Lenin attacked them priir 
cipally for "their conviction that it is possible to develop the class 
political consciousness of the workers from within, that is to say, ex- 
yl clusively, or at least mainly, by means of economic struggle," In 
;Sl fighting against their formula of "giving the economic struggle a po- 
litical character", which, translated into action, meant using politi- 
cal agitation to fulfill the economic demmds, Lenin, quite correctly, 
pointed out that the economic struggle of the workers is very often 
connected with bourgeois politics. In fact, the mere realization that 
the workers have not advanced beyond trade union, organization only pro- 
' a ved to Lenin that bourgeois ideology still dominated them. The road he 
*©"( pointed out was not for mere indulgence in political activity to ful- 
i fill the economic demands as formulated by a pure and simple trade 
ye unionist engaged in trade union politics, that is,: bourgeois reformist 
ve politics, Lenin strove to elevate the economic struggles to the 
eel higher forms of struggles, to the political .battles 5 not to use politic 
.1 as a lever for the realization of the economic demands but to capture 
state power. For that purpose the form of organizati on to lead in the 
struggle could only be. the Political Party, 

•• ' ... 

Sne above views, fox* the information of our anti -Bolshevik critics ", not 
only con3trur. J o the Leninist position but also the Marxist position. It 
would he well that this li new labor tendency" as our friend critics la- ... 
bel themselves, (especially the authors of the "International Review" 
and "Living Marxism" in .America and the "Revolutionne proletarienne" 
in BJraacQ) would' also polemic i?e against Marx' writings on the Party 
question as they love to do against Lenih»s. Cr must we conclude from 
tills that the crusaders against 'Bolshevism, prefer to quietly disasso- < 
ciate tfe mselves from Marx 1 writings under the cover of a barrage against 
Leninism? • • ■ • * 

Lenin strove to adapt the Marxist position on .the Party to the specific 
Russian requirements*' In adhc^Mg to his basic concepts, we, not being 
dogmatists, do not have to accept his membership-organisation idea, an 
error he committed, which though not of magnitude importance, (never- 
theless important) could have only been made in view of the peculiar 
economic and political conditions then prevalent in Russia, 

Paced with a wide espionage system on the part of the Tsarist regime, a 
well organized police system which arrested daily hundreds of revolu- # 
tionists and thus destroyed the organisational apparatus they had built: 
up, Lenin, strove to create a well knit secret Party structure which 
would very well stand match to the police set up. This organizational 
structure which he proposed' led to the discarding of the erroneous Eco- 
nomist view on organization, A realist, he saw ffte. necessity of coor- 
dinating -the work of the then existing Social-Democratic circles, of 
putting an end to the interrupted character of work which, because of 
police arrests ? was characteristic of the radical movement. He strove 
give it a continuity of action, That could only be accomplished , not 
by Economist phrases of a spontaneous action of the working class whicl 
supposedly would legalize the Russian radical movement, but by counter- 1 
posing consciousness to spontaneity, by giving the spontaneous movement 
a head, a leadership which could point the way and lead this movement 
to correct channels of struggle. This leadership had of necessity to 
consist of trained revolutionists, or as Lenin put it, "wise men" who 
could avoid arrest. 

Answering the objections of his critics that his proposals to appoint 
District leaders and coordinate the secret work in the central committe 
of -ten wise men" was undemocratic, Lenin replied that, from a formal 
standpoint the accusation was correct. But "is it possible", he asked, 
"for all the revolutionists to elect one of their number to any parti- 
cular office when in the very interest of the work, he must_po:oceal his! 
i^ortxty, from nine out of ten of these *all * "? Broad democracy in 
party organization, amidst the. gloom of autocracy and the domination oJ o 
gendarme's, he held to be nothing more than a useless- and harmful toy, c 
since under such conditions no revolutionary organization ever did or | i: 
ever could practice this broad principle, ■/ tc 

That on this point Lenin was correct, only people to whom the subject! Bu 
fact or ? the organization of revolutionists into a Party, plays no part -of 
in making history, will take issue. We must, however, take issue with th 
Lenin's concept of membership in Party organization, Lenin, as it is as 
very little known in "Leninist Circles", stood for a Russian Social- ,. Cor 
Democratic Party which was to be composed "chiefly of persons engaged str 
in revolution as a profession." Again we must emphasize that this ssi 
membership- organizational concept he did not hold applicable for othei ti 0J 

countries. Speaking about the German Social-Democratic Party he. "qui to 
lightly sanctioned the paragraph which stated! "Membership of the Part- 
is open to those who accept the principles of tie party programme, and 
render all the support they can to the party". Lenin's error can be arv, 
niust be explained. But it cannot be explained the way the "left" critic", 
explain it: that Lenin was interested in building a Jacobin party and 
therefore desired only the bourgeois intellectual element as Party mem^ 
bers. Quite the contrary* Lenin sought ways and means' by which to take 
the untrained worker elements and elevate them to the position of pro*, 
fessional revolutionists. Conversely he demanded of the intellectual 
party leaders that they make contact with the workers in order to so- 
lidify the bond between the professional revolutionists and the working 
class. In his task of creating a party of the working class, Lenin, 
however, was overwhelmed hy objective factors which contributed to his 
error on the . mentioned question. There was the small working class whie 
was oust arriving at elementary trade union consciousness and which as 
yet did not possess that training and socialist consciousness deemed 
essential to. build a Party. On the other hand the student intelligent- 
sia was already attaining to socialist consciousness and was ready to 
give leadership to the working class, Confronted with the necessity of 
an „ 1RBncd iate organization of a Social-Democratic Workers Party, Lenin 
refused to wait for that- day when the working class, of itself, "spon- 
taneously", would attain to socialist consciousness, ihus, it can be 
seen, iVwas, the existence of the above mentioned condition, the lack 
of socialist development on the part of the workers and the readiness 
J£<Jw? art °1 P\ e intelligentsia to throw itself into battle against 
aosoiutism, that led Lenin to the erroneous conclusion. It must be 
emphasized, however, that whereas Lenin on paper declared himself for 

JnESSS" S°^° se ?^ ie S 1 ^ of Professional revolutionists , in action he 
corrected himself by following another road, The Bolshevik Party, prior 
the revolution, became rooted in the masses, resulting in the ddmina- 
tion of proletarian elements in its organic composition.' 


Ihe ^question at hand is the relation. of the Party towards the seizure 
S™????^ ^Proletariat. We have said that the Party leads the 
Witfr S * at to fards the seizure of power. Does this signify that the 
+^L? ei £u? the power am Concentrates it in its hand for the prole- 
S SJ t>, m ^ S WStion, having been debated during the actual progress 
SLSf? ^J s £^ devolution, is reaching wider polemical heights as a 
result of the degeneration of October. . 

x^J*^ ^ ^^ t0 having the. que st ion posedt dictatorship of the prole*. 
5? fl?Sn'S« d ^5 at 5 r I hip of the^Party. Posed in such a manner, the axis 
■ «L a , ? ^ s „^ fted frm economics and class domination to the bourgeois 
»1> ?«?S3!!: 2 f " den »ocracy vs. dictatorship", which prevents an economic 
V W toJJ?? ? tatl ? n °? hlst ory. Such a manner of putting the question woulo 
1 o^S y -u al ?° play int0 the hands of those "left" anti-Bolsheviks and 
1 S^jr • 1S S a ' who £ ive as thG ' chief cause f °r the degeneration of the 
^1.^°+^ « ? V v lu ^ lon the ? a ct that the power was concentrated in the hand 
lit the ■ ^ J 0lSh !Y lk Par ty instead of the class. Thus they fail to see that 
^1 nS JS£ Gn J ra tion of October was not a result. of the one Party regime 
s | a L+ c ?» but that the substitution of the workers organs with Party 
-"Jc+2 2 was only a P^ Gnol «onon which had its origin in the economic 
?C T««J5J? l e of , Russia > in the backwardness of the nation, making itimpo- 
,Jn? / or tbe -small proletariat, without the aid of the world revolu- 
thcpion, to overcome the usurpation of power. 

Lenin did net seek to abolish the powers of the Soviets in order^to sub- 
stitute them with the Party organization. The fact- remains that he tough 
gainst such attempts. Understanding ^^ ^^% a f^/^^^ 
trol of the Soviets was only a strategem which ^^^WlB*^^,. 
parties hoped to impose their control, Lenin sought to retain the Soviet,, 
organs and lead them away from the influence of the Menshevik- Social 
Revolutionary-Anarchist leadership. . «nn-Ponndad 

"The functions. of the party collective no case be confounded 
with the powers of the state organs, such as are the_ Soviet.. Sucn a 
confusion would yield disastrous results, P^^^ 1 ?^^?,?! hutfSot 
field, Thn P^ty endeavo rs to direct. tM _a^iyjJ&j2f^^ 
to replace them . " 


Nobody who is a Marxist would at ^l.^*^-* :^^? 1 ?*^ 9 .-*^^ 
power from the hands of the Soviets into the Bolshevik Pa rtyQrganiza 
tion acted as a contributing. factor in the degeneration of n °£tobur. All, 
however, are forgetting that this ocurrence, or this ^°g« l Jg a1! r» 
was not a result of the strength of the workers' ^P^ .^^! of thG 
weakness. The three years of fierce struggle demanded on the part ot tnc 
proletariat initiative, decisive decisis, ^« e ™g^; ^causf or 
proletariat was numerically small, its hoM^upon ^^econony, 
the lack of industrialization, not sig»^c^t^great. Tftis W^ s 
itself in the impossibility of the proletariat to xre a Je poweri ni *g 
of power of its own which could dominate the ^ional poll ticoi^" * 

The Soviets, erroneously pictured % s ^^^fhosf Soviets in which 
tained a preponderance of peasant elements. I only ^^ Soviets in 
the proletariat was the dominant numerical force ^P^^ n ;^ c ^r epr | se n, 
class organs of power. The All Union Congress of soviet, ^nrcpr^ . 
ted the Soviets as a whole, contained a P^Pf^^ r ^ P poter) It was 
ments and could not be considered an organ of P^^Jg^Jto the 
no accident that Lenin, before the seizure of power > P^ted ^clft of 
Soviets as expressing in the clearest form the old ^sheviK cone p 
the»democratie dictatorship of t^PJS le ^^^^^StoJi?Tco^ 

e ^rtsrits cla as.jiomim^^ realizable by } 

c*ould blTSaTd that the working class dictatorship bec<nc ruaiza j 

means of the dictatorship of. the Bolshevik Party. whereas on *< 

Such a phenomenon presented two . contradictory aspects^jrftoreas „ 

one hand the concetration of jDower into the hands of the ^^ pea . Tfc 

possible the expression of the working class JS 1 ^*}??,, the petty- 5 U 

santry, since by means of democratically elected Soviet., the pew ■ ri0 . 
bourgeois rural element would have dominated the Soviet^ on the o 

hand this Party control of power termed by Lenin, a wor K|re^^ t 3aj 
bureaucratic distortions" contained within it the germs 01 tru 
tion of the proletarian rule . 


The October revolution, we have said was a Q ^l e ^^?StS? ^r sS $* 
by two different classes, the working clciss^and^e peasantry^ ^oi h 

a revolution, ocurring in a country P^2° mna ?^L?n? had Aecessoril] ^ li 
the control of the p.oJJLticiil^wer to the m^m i^MtJ^%S^4^ 
to mean the use of undemocratic means .by ^e proletariat to jx . 

nower. The Soviets, however, at the time of the seizure 01 P°;;i' trv -Ve b] 
?ed democratically expressed in the- main the voice .of ^e Pantry 

The slogan of all power to the ^A^^^^^^^lh^^^^!^ 
could have only meant power to the peq gantry, a class ^oie x p t 

it. This dilema made necessary the stepping into the f gf£ e ^ S £ ev . 
shevik Party, representing the historical f ^f^ ^ ^ t ^ iat , belief -R, 
to seize the power for the proletariat. The Russian proiex t .i xa , ^ m 


so weak was not able to seize power by means of the Soviets, since its 
numerical position would not allow it to dominate -the Soviets*, Tne Bol- 
shevik Party 'became the organ through which the proletariat' seized po- 
wer, , .' -: . : \".V .-.. .'. ' ' . ''. . .': ■ ■ "• -. ' " • 
It is complained: thaVthe' Bolshevik Party was^undemocratic in^substitu- 
ting its newer for the' power of the Soviets. ■Ifccula not have- acted 
otherwise^ yet put tne peasantry in a siibordin^te position, Those *nc 
doubt the proletarian mature of the Bolshevik Party, or rather 'those who 
. • refuse to believe- that r - the -Bolshevik Party > expressed ^JJf^Tr^iSj 
tercets- of the proletariat.-, how explain the Leninist Const i-tuti on wh^eh 

• deprived the peasantry an equal vote with the-working class? (one.wof- 

' kers" vote- counted threes peasant votes) This act, ^ v ^^ cr ^r^ies- 

' accomplished by the dictatorial hand r.f the Bolshevik -Party, ne/er.nee., ; 

■benefited the working- class. Would the vulgar anarchists, ^^? e + |J^ ttv 

.rion for determining the character of a government -is based on the poo^v 

■' bourgeois measure of whether the regime is' ''-autnoritariari or xibertana... 

have declared themselves against this act which us^?* £%^if * f at , 

power but which nevertheless strengthened the hands of the proletariat. 

• ■ It is interesting to study the resolution of ^'j^^'^^^^. 

revolt in 1921 "is .singled out today by our anti-Bolsheyik critics as a 
" manifestation of -a loft reaction to the' "state ^capitalist policies oi 
the Bolshevik dictatorship " t The ■suppression 5f ; the Kr onstadt roc eiiion 
was a logical step in the preparation of the Bolshevik regime for the 
introduction of right wing policies, including the MBP , so claim our 

friend critics. But ^MMmM^^mmMMm&m^^^^^t 
p indicates that the ^niir^nts%ejr>g_^M^yorv^ ones- who i? nu^gtej^a^^ 
t^-^T^^Tr^Tnl-ifitTp ^gnomi c mea sur es po lic ies^of uic gp v^ rn^^.,^, 
wiio _ demanded' no thing sh ^-pt.or 'than,, a NIP, ■■_ • _ • 

The'-lCronstadt -sailors' resolution, despite all the., talk J^t^ee elec- 
ted Soviets,, democracy, -protests against Bolshevik ^^itariams^ ting 
tains two basic points which form the heart of the ^docament. Exhibiting 
the peasant influence (the peasantry protested against tncijxu-.u^ 
quisition of grain, since it thereby, liquidated- speculation ^ |ro J 
teering) the Kronstadt resolution demanded: "To give the Plants tne 
right to work their" land as they desire, as well as ™ e JF c £;^nts t o 
This 'point could' only be interpreted one way- to all ^.^\l e || a |S 
function-on capitalist agricultural relationships. ^SL • 
more clear in its championing of petty-bourgeois interests. „- _ t of 
"Authorize the free production of artisans, without the employment 
^ salaried workers," 

(The Bolsheviks attempted to eliminate petty-bourgeois production to 
■ were not able to, In that sense they were forced' to .^J 6 ^^ J££ 
when forced'-to the wall did they finally permit it, ^V nIiS thTtruo 
- chists and^ "left" communists to attack the NEP as jepresentingthe true 
M policy of Bolshevism *niy to later praise ^ resolution whi.hproposea 
m- the same changes Bolshevism advocated, is certainly inconsistent. 

l^jwe bring up the Kronstadt affair to show that even those Soviets whicn 
*• staged a fight against Bolshevism from the "left" dia ^^^'i 1 ^ 
>H express the proletarian interests but represented- the pre. t> sure ox. u 
e*4 petty-bourgeoisie against the extreme socialistic measures oi tne bj> 
e.lshevik Party. Through the revolutionary content .of the Bolshevik |^y 
^ tie Russian proletariat expressed its class ^ mt ^ n ?|^rv cStot, 
o^l inwhose hands' the power lay, was stripped of its ^^i^ercone? 
the main obstacle in the destruction of the revolution was overcome. 

When after the Civil War and interventi-nn, J^^^^Xlro- 
extension of workers democracy, for Jhe_v esvmg c* » workin g class, 

letarian mass bodies, ^^^jF^S&^^S^ the economy, Q 
whose numerical strength made j£ ^possioic x formed bureaucracy, 
was incapable of dictating*' th %,^^v^\bll to it (the state ca- 
which, supported by economic c ^ dlt ^ f-vorabiy_ up what it had 
pitalism of the HEP) was not onl y ^^g/fjSSSon of workers » 
but stretched out its hands for -^or gre^tor xxuju wag 

■Sower, the concentration of power into the n-nas ox ux 
already beginning to exhibit its negative a^cts.^could J ^ , 
however, that only under the new ©canonic comix.* i the re _ 
the growth of a bureaucracy (the ^^^ on ^i y the international re- 
turnee a workers ^99^'^^^^^ October. The Russian 
volution could have prevented the ^S^jJW a springboard for world 
Revolution was considered to be ^ed ner ^Vf^ % r f volt . when the 

s^^ failedj m 1 

had to fail, 

Thus the concentration .of power ^^f^n^ tlf result of cerl 
cause of the degeneration °^^ e ^ Mne^ener?tion possible and. 
tain objective conditions ^^i^^J^J^Siible. If the criterion 
which also cade this concentration ^P^^are its acts, in whose 
for determining the character of a g^en^nt ge £x t whe n used 


The workers as a class do not reach socialist Cggciou^ 3 ^ Jbe^J 

ttme; they reach their destination not l^:^ 1 ^ 1 ^ proletariat hi £ 
ponent, separated detachment s. .Certain sections 01 y g p 

cone to the realization of their ^orical *f g* d ^ c finent, a Party *; 
advanced elements is to organize *^^ s >5| t be said ' that wit ^ 
and Point the way to the class as a whole. « ™£ n D * f the pro letar * 
cut the pointing of the way by th J^^^fSg* J&y its rule. If ^ 
vanguard, the working class will never |{£--^ voluti , n bu t the prole- a 


capitalism is not an even one for- all workers. ttj^TStoSf -;the £^ 
volution can at times signify that ^f^^^^J^ed the. first 
Wproaching socialist consciousness, %^^^§£ es in history 
elements of revolutionary ^e°^f '. ^^^st Se capitalist state, 
where the . proletariat f^^f^^^^^coLoimsmss which 
as in Spain 1936, hut ^^S^^fS^^-^t the bourgeoisie and 
would enable it t- free jf ^!^tn+^ So evon during the revolution 
proceed, to smash the capitalist _stat^. ■ o >cvcn inF class that rovolutic- 
itself it is necessary to inject^into tn „„-.„,••„ its 


i% t: 

Lopm 1 
bourgeois state, there is no reason in g"^^ whole, 
state cannot be concentrated in the P xoleV.ri..x- 

The dictatorship of the proletariat can ogj J^jg-Tjf aS%5SSSS" 
pation of the workers as ^^^t^^^^lm^i^^^ the- 
and political power. ^- advocating th« b1 og^ ■ ^ se , gripped of con- 
workers councils" we do not ^j%^**£^£ We mean what we say. 
tent and applied simply for f^arativ. ^^^l^. vested in the 
We mean control from the bottom, pow ei + to_pe ^— ^ hl of t he. pro- 
hands of the workers councils. In short, the a i cx^ v ^tanat, 

letariat cannot be construed to mean-, aict.tor shi p ^ ^ to ru j e 

in which case the working class itself 4£ J^^ s wh , lave sworn under 
but must of necessity ^^^Sgt^^t^ proletariat. Having 
oath not to turn the machinery of statu ^v^ & cnable i s the proletariat 
| reached that high political /^elopment ^n^n participating m 
to' overthrow the bourgeoisie, th |.^i^tt' Sower should, in fact prove 
■aknistering the alread y c^ered }J^P^*oSifc^L f undations 
eosier, since the newly established econ^_i--u y would be 

do not' impose upon the working class ^^^ef^t^eiaH^. In 
?he case under capitalist ^^^^^i^sll'up.m the working class 
other words, the existence of capitalist imp^si ^ tro- 

unconsciously, in. diverse forms , capitalist id c^iog /. development 

ducti-n of socialist economical v* la ti ^g^om possibly hoped to 
of socialist ideology, than the wo f^cr the nroletariat cognizant of 
acquire prior to the W^^^^^^gS f power by the 
their historical role and thus maicing 
workers a simple, elementary task. 

The dictatorship of the Proletariat, contrary to ^^^g.ft^la 
is n^t a restriction of democracy but a ^™H r h humanity has -ever 

in fact ,?he only genuine^orm of ^emocracy ^ s ^f dictatorship 
realized. Bat like every f orm :rt a stat. J^^ffg privileges will 
of one class ^^J^^^J^^l^^^^ force of the majo- 
hove to be made. For the first time in nisi-iy, , d against a mino- 
rity- of the population, the proletariat, wiirbeu.eog tcwards 

Sty- which insists, on ^?i^^^\^^%^^M^^^^ **■ 

socialism can only be ^f^ f + ^fP^S c Tand economic life' is under- 
•~; a whole in the nanagenent of the politic . i % j«. 
^ taken during the transitional epoch. 

f + • ... 






Tne political party does not *i^^^ 

the. simple reason, that classes Jc/^^f the proletariat would be 
. mere concentration of power in the hand, of the P development towards 
&% sufficient enough to guarantee a sno^tft, ^eed for the further exis- 
4 socialism, .then, obviously tbere^ould ^%$%U& % . overthrew capita^ 

te nee of a vanguard orgamaation <- ncc >« v 

( 22) 

lien. With the existence of antagonistic classes, there exists also > a ^ 
struggle, obstacles, possibilities of a return to capitalism. No smooth 
development is guaranteed, While on one hand we insist on Pacing *H+.<J 
power into the hands of the proletarian mass organs, since every 
Strengthening of the workers' self initiative .only goes to weaken tne 
enemies of socialism, the Marxist Party, -n the other hand, laying <- 
clearer foresight of events than the workers ^^ admass possess, musx 
continue its independent existence, help them.fight oft every dangerous 
move advocated by other political currents which aim to undermine the 
existence of workers rule. 

She form of inter-relationship between the proletariat -and. its vang^aro 
after the seizure of power does not depend on the wishes of ™" *™£ d 
or the latter alone. It is in the main decided by the state of economic 
development. One of the chief reasons for the ever ^creasing ^depen- 
dence of the Bolshevik Party from the class was the smallnes s, numeri 
cally of the latter, its low' cultural and social development which in 
turn reflected the backwardness of the country. The Russian prolet.. 
riat was not able to impose its will on the Bolshevik Party, since 
the former, numerically weak, could not create ^ch mass orj^n nufteri- 
power of its own which would be capable of dominating by -mere ^ rl 
cal preponderance, the political life of the country and thus force 
the Party back to its correct road. This tended to create an 
ever widening gulf between the Party and tne proletariat, le^ng n 
nally to a crystal lizat ion of a special bureaucratic layer within the I 
Bolshevik Party, which usurped and finally expropriated thq P^l^ari 
of political power* There were times, however, when the low cui^ur^x 
and social development of the Russian proletariat prevented. ij + |^| 
seeing its correct needs, forcing the Bolshevik Party tc^pit itscii 
against the popular wishes of the working class only to carry out tnu 
best historical interests. 

Hence when we declare for the development of .the se ^ J^'*^M V ^ °f gJ 
the workers, for the complete transference of P owe J ^^ t,hoir h-n d&j 
thus delegating to the Party a guiding role- after ^^f^Z^^l 
pitalism, we are not sp-ntaneity-ites who declare that at all tges 1 
working class, unconsciously, always does the right thing. Foriit^ 
were tie case there would not only be no need for a vanguard ^fore 
the seizure of power, much less after. Therefore even after the M 
of power, we see how it might become necessary to combat the spont-am, 
erroneous view of the mass as a whole with the consciousness of thu 

An insight into the coming toerican* revolution offers us the . °Pt^ s1 
view that, once the "revolution succeeds, it will not share the same 
fate as the Russian. Whereas Kautsky was quite correct in stating 
that modern socialism originated out of the heads of members of the 
bourgeois intelligentsia, whereas Lenin only observed a fact which 
helf true for Rusiia when he declared that, "The intellectuals are 
good at solving questions 'of principle'.. .drafting plans and super . 
vising the execution of plans... The workers busy themselves with t 
application of gray theory in living practice", .nevertheless, in oh 
serving the high industrial and as a result cultural and social Otvi 
lonment of the American proletariat we are quite confident that not 
--niy will they occupy themselves with the application of 'gray Jhel 

but will also be the very -nes ^^^^^m^^M Q ^%<M^^ 
points. There are millions of American intellectuals who have acqm 
a high education and have been forced to earn livelihood through if 

\<— -J J 


labor. And then again there are countless thousands who never had a 
higher education but who, living in a highly advanced cultural society, 
have felt the general effects of advanced American life and who are 
quite capable of parti cipating in the solution of theoretical questions. 

Prom those objective conditions flow different relationships between the 
Party and the class, Firstly,' the Party will become more closely knit 
to the class in the sense that it will be not only a proletarian.' party - 
in programmatic declaration but also, "in organic .composition. Secondly, 
a leading role in formulating questions of policies will not only be 
played by the intellectuals' but 'by worker elements. Lastly and most 
important, with the seizure of power, we can conceive of no gulf betweer 

in Russia,, 
ible to 

the vanguard and the mass unlike ':the condition that- existed 

VJhile the vanguard, even after /the seizure of power , ; will be 

point out. the road ahead, to Site mass ? the mass^ being so advanced will 

only follow- a road which leads to a ; strengthening bf its position, its 

power, its class domination, This high advanced position of tte American 

workers will act as an asset should the very Party which led them to 

success degenerate and attempt to lead them backwards' to capitalism, 

'* '' "'.: • . •'■ Karl Mienov 

• ' r , ; . ' ' October 27,1938 




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pMEMFLCTfigP g%30I.UTlCW ^ 25 ) 

Unemployment arises out of capitalist relationships where goods 
are produced predominantly for profits and not for use. Unemployment was 
| prevalent in pre-capitalist times but in general was not so widespread 
because of the absence of the economic crises so peculiar to the capita- 
list mode of production. The deeper the crises -and as capitalism con- 
tinues to decay they occur more frequently and with greater inxensity- 
the more important becomes the question of answering the problems of the 
unemployed.' Because capitalism has had its heyday, has passed its zenith, 
and Is now well on the, downgrade, as can be witnessed by trie ■ manifesta- 
tions of the aeuteness of capitalist -crises- wars , fascism, mass discon- 
tent in forms of strikes etc . -, the permanent character of the unemploy- 
ed problem becomes a reality even to the skeptical. Even capitalist the op- 
ticians understand that the unemployment problem can never be solved un- 
der the system thev still 'continue to defend- a system where goods are 
produced for profit, where the machine has displaced the worker, and as 
far as the capitalist system is concerned, left him as a superfluous , 
factor to be granted a mere pittance f rem the state, to boused to drive 
down the wages of those workers sitll employed, and to be used as a too- 
of fascism, war drives for new markets etc. They begin, to understand what 
*«■«,,,,',? „4.„ t *„„ „~.~ ^„.!_<j. A j >;v,*_ nomoiw. +>ia+.. z+.Tip l-i-ren thine suace between 

injeeted at a costly price into the ever decaying body of capitalism, jj 
flation, wars,- and fascism are the costly stimulants ..Since unemployment 
expresses in. the most open fashion the inability of capitalism to solve 
even the most elementary needs of the masses, since the problem that it 
»ooses cannot be solved within the framework of capitalism itself, ana > 
"since the immediate demands for the unemployed can be only to better tneir 
conditions as unemployed, the main demand becomes the maximum demand-the 
overthrow of capitalism. To shout, "Open up the Factories", "Work or Wa- 
ges", or to demand work in any other form would be incorrect. The primary 
reason that we oppose the aforementioned slogans and others of similar 
content, is that the demand of capitalism that we, the workers, desire to 
slave under their wage system. It asks of capitalism that we, the workers, 
should be given the opportunity of working on the old basis- where the _ 
boss exploits. Instead of this, the workers should demand unemployment in- 
surance and take the offensive in this action, instead of demanding to 
slave under the old conditions. The incorrect slogans mentioned above 
plead to the boss to "allow" workers to be exploited, peraits the boss to 
to dictate, and contains the elements of proletarian subservience to boss 
rule Never must the unemployed allow the boss to take the offensive. They 
must demand to be supported by the capitalist state- through unemployment 
insurance. Also it tends to give the illusion that capitalism is capable 
of rehiring the unemployed and that capitalism can be "forced" to grant 
work to th e unemployed under the prevailing, bankrupt system. 

As regards the general problem of the unemployed we must state it 
in a clear-cut fashion. We must point out to the unemployed that their pre- 
C'dicament is an outcome of the capitalist system and that, unfortunately, 
1 J there is no solution for them as regards their re-employment under capita- 
lism, but that their onlv hope lies in the. dictatorship of the proletariat. 
'[heir attacks upon capitalism, because they have no direct contact upon th< 
economic field, must be predominantly of a political nature. Their protest,:: 
Against the capitalist state must not be voiced in uncertain terms but 
mist demand and not beg a dole. Because capitalism will never be alle to 
provide enough for the great number of unemployed, the latter will find 


themselves more and more in the front ranks of the proletariat strug- 
gling against the capitalist- state 5 and calling for its overthrow. The 
demands of the unemployed must he fought for in the streets, where 
they will come into direct conflict with the hrutal open oppression o| 
the state* where their demands will take on concrete ^ action ox ^strugg-- 
against their enemies and where they can take the initiative 01 tne en 
tire Proletariat in dealing ■ ''blows to the state. The unemployed > have no 
job -to protect or lose. They are apt to be more extreme in their de- 
mands and must be so recognized by the party of the proletariat. fh«ir 
overlord is the state. The oppressor of the unemployed is not an isoia 
ted boss who is a unit of the" latter*s dictatorship over all the prole- 
tariat, but the political state, the dictatorship. It is understood 
that the mass discontent of this "superfluous" layer in society can oe 
very effective if it is utilized correctly. 

Flowing from the above points it can readily be seen^how^importan 
it is to organize the unemployed into an unemployed organization wfticn 
we may call the Unemployed Union, It is true that those workers^ Aowj 
laid of f for a short time may desire to remain in their, original wor^i 
union, However, those workers who are unemployed for a leng:uy # periou ^ 
not feel like employed* workers any more and must_ then be organized i*.u 
an Unemployed Union. The Union must not only include workers who are t 
tally unemployed but, likewise WPA workers, who must be made to t una«,r- 
stand their status. There must be an. interchange P*^ffi^tet&eajS\ 
the Unemployed Union with various unions of employed workers to coopcx 
ate on various issues (mentioned later). Regular meetings must be n^J-: 
In this way the solidarity between the unemployed and employed can pe- 
come' a reality in action. | 

The Unemployed Union must not be an organization of a Workers 
Alliance type which includes domimntly, the bribed section of the un- 
employed- that section which fights to remain vassals of the state^r- 
manently, which does not carry on militant struggles on J$e ftreets hi 
revolves its activity on the axis of petitioning the capitalist state. 
The Unemployed Union must be what its name implies 5 a union witn mj 
unemployed base* All unemployed -are asked to join, regardless ,ot poii- 
cal affiliations. The militancy of the unemployed, organized "i ttixs 
manner may then be pretty certain, for the mass of the unemployed- th 
great section which the capitalist class cannot oribe aremore^apt to . 
extreme in their demands. They are the onew; that will lead hunger sir 
mass demonstrations : on the streets, etc. This is the : section^ of the 1* 
employed who cannot tolerate "sugar worts" for food- tneir ^sperat. I 
ditions make them heed the word of action. It will be most difficult 
the reformists to lead such a union- they will not be so easily able 
tie the workers to the capitalist kite. 

The unemployed Question, since it is so important in the high! 
industrialized countries as the IM^lSto^^pf^^ ij 
tally necessary for the unemployed to be organized into f\Unemplpyc 
Union. The workers in this union will be likely to be the most milit 
among the proletariat in struggling against capitalism. Especially! 
such a country like the United States the forcefulness of the_ large I fl 
ber of the unemployed will be felt. We mgr/ say that ; the ^unemployed i . m 
kers represent about 1/4 of the employable workers in the United Sta 
Of course the unemployed cannot exert the pressure that workers empi £ 



Impendence? Has the rather Vnceregni^s ^pulsion g.^^^Stly 
refofeers left no impression on their inner cranniax 
tnot. For there follows the words: therase lves in a Labor Party..." 
"Whenever (?) the w<»l u 5J 0n f?*" '^rt^^fteJ Significantly stressing 
After solemnly "condeming" the Labor party, alter sig down 

only the "programmatic independence' of ^ Q g^T| n T La bbr Party" which 
for "whenever the revolutionists f ind them *~j£ _^ ± t a Labor Par ty. 
means opening the gates wide f? r the f^P's £vS£tio£sts enter a Labor 
But some will object- why can't individual ^o±u£ion of party members 
Party? We take no issue with ^.^^^^^x^ents Irom thesl parties 
into a reformist or f n trist outfit to vanguard, ^t this can only be^ 
and bring them over to the j ndcne affirt v *£f ^ /Organisations coinci- 
done with revolutionists working witni| the otner g ent organiza - 
dentally with the crystallization of ^ues by tn. ^ 3ffort from 
tion on the outside. Without the »ci^ ^ n ^ a tionally 8 and politi- 
the out side --thTTHdependenco of the party ° r {^ n rdvolu tionists 
cally- to speak of working within a p^r.y or W 1 ^ f t that the 
find themselves in a Iaborpar^ ^comos a sham. Th. very^f o^^ ^ 
SWP does not make the distinction between sending *£ independent, 
opponents* activity while the party is ?*g n ^g°f a ■Snifest in every 
ikes clear the intent of ^^^£u£$£ need to write vcguoly- 
SSST.S2? &%*^&****** *> a number of things, re- 

ta »oVn^ T^nSiiS L of vL p wTf y: 

"Nevertheless, the labor party «"W^£lJe ^iJpMt in general 
fe the workers themselves, does reveal a pro g°«££jlf J^ whi ch it is 
* towards class consciousness. In Spite of rGalizati on of 

lod by the bureaucrats, it shows ^gjJ^^^ffS fn the Republican 

^elSk ^ % 1g^t£&3& s^«-f -rkorswould be 

no P e!essly sectarian for ^ t - s -^ L S^ S ;I r ^-^ V oment becomes pro- 

According to the ^uotskyitcs, the ^toor rarg m progressive) 
grossive (since their expulsion, you sco^the SP is no m c g nsciousno ss" 
Lcausc it "reveals a progressive development toward <*« If thQ 
But why limit the Progrcssivcncss to the Labor arjy , | moro 
vrorkers move over to the Stalinist Party, , " 0UiQ J^J " politics? Or, 
»P?ogress?ve movement" of workers away from oapltall ^^J^W, 
gentlemen, if the workers moved to ^n organization sue ^ 

SAP, or any other organization ^^^^^^iltical degree that 


warks of capitalism ^d enemies of th osod. 1W jevolut from 

sc program and perspective disorient the ^sos, J ° oact ion to con- 
revolutionary class struggle, end permit tlw forces 
solldato without effective opposition. ^-J;;;^ ; rovoals a t„once a 

This movement of workers toward ^^^ g lJ^ y d ^^Spment" acts as 
"oroarcssivc development" and this progressive jovo socialist rcvolu- 
CS the bulwarks of capitalism -f t ^ m ^ d f Ho ^° c an° any reformist 
tion." Did anyone over hoar"logic* of th^t kina no j acts 
organization do progressive?- how can an £^' ^J^ta* generalized 
"in practice and in crisis (in pra ctico and in crisi | g ^ q 
Sr^^ rcvolutio*."? Perhaps 

. , ( 28) 

it is only "progressive" for those contemplating ^ tra *^ * n *° ^£ a 
rcfor^St party, always to bo sure with "programmatic indop^id.nco 

mdop-Jd- nco 01 tno vmg i » T r0 t3tey on this basic question is 

SaWo'cvcf^ ,°Sng S po?Sd°o ybta.?*. is consistently erroneous 

has coniurod up for his followors. It must be exposed as such. She 
p$ost??utiS orpin's work has thrived ever since bis death. Trot sky 
has not violated Wn's work least. *o vies for ^*? h ?* p ^ s lS t 
St-lin onlv being more treacherous than the latter duo w to i , li:L ?^ °^ 
.nrasSs and mSrtyfish position on the political scene. We^esiro no 
Sir* nf Tvotskv- like oil centrist tendencies Trot skyism must oc sm^ 
Ihed old theloods elements won over to Wnism! ^he revolutionary 
JSo must find Trotskyism washed ashore and blowr along W WJ* no -| 
JS >iS to -ooW only in v/ritings dedicated to the archaic study of 
Son Svisl trotskyism has one distinction, n^rtholoss, «*?%£ : 
-rould certainly not doprivo it- it opportunely submerged xtsuii,rrom 
i917 to W24, to Bolshevism. Lot us now bury Trotskyism with rll due 


therefore, cannot tolerate no conciliation. 



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